Power Women in Pink


πŸŒ΅πŸ’—πŸ’•πŸ’ͺ🏻This year I am a part of the Power Women in Pink campaign for Susan G. Komen South Carolina! Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in young women in South Carolina.  Help me hit my goal of raising $500 to make a difference in the lives of men and women in South Carolina.  Let’s help provide life-saving breast health services and fund groundbreaking research to find the cure.  πŸ’—πŸ’•πŸ’ͺ🏻🌡 #thankyou #tribecactus 




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Radiation 101




With 5 treatments down and 28 more to go, I thought I’d share a little about the actual radiation process that I’ve been going through.  Each morning I arrive at the Gibbs Cancer Center at Pelham around 8:30, scan my ID badge, and head for the waiting room.  It’s usually very quiet with just a few people waiting until I’m called back.  Everything is removed from the waist up, and I’m given a pillow case to cover.   Then I’m positioned on the hard metal table just so, and three sweet radiation techs get me ready.  A very warm towel is placed over the site as a barrier since they are radiating the chest wall.  They explained it as a lot acts as an extra layer of skin and brings the radiation dose to the skin surface to make sure the dose goes to the right spot and not past it.   Since the site is being radiated is on the left side, many deep breaths are necessary to raise my heart up so that it is not damaged.  Yeah...that’s scary to hear, right? But I trust God, first, in all of this and I also trust that the ladies know exactly what they are doing.  There’s lots of numbers on the screens above me that help them work their magic. 


 The first day was not fun and took forever as they drew on my chest to mark the exact areas that needed treatment.  I looked like a road map.  And then the breathing exercises came which were super hard, recovering from a yucky sinus infection that took two rounds of antibiotic to cure.  But these last four haven’t been too bad.  10 minutes max!  The music plays, the lady says “here we go” after I’m
in position, I’m asked to take three to four DEEP breaths, and this huge machine circles and changes positions around me.  The sound that comes during this time is not music to my ears, but the whole time I’m laying there, I truly pray and He calms my fears.  My arms are above my head, which has to be turned to the right, and I stare at one spot on the wall.  I thank Him each time for getting me this far in my journey and ask Him to continue to hold me.  Today’s song playing over the speaker was “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns.  The words say... “You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held.  Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place.  I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held.”  So today and every single day, I try to do just that.  The ten minutes that I’m back there is a perfect time to talk to Jesus.  He hears from me more than once a day, I can assure you of that.  So when it’s all done, I’m helped off the table with a “see you tomorrow, Mrs. Gault”.  And it starts the same way again the next day.  Many have asked if I’m burning yet and all I see right now is a slight redness and I can feel a little bit of heat, like the way you feel after you get  a little sunburn.  I see the kindest radiation oncologist every Thursday after treatment.  So that’s pretty much the routine.  Many have said the fatigue will come after a few more, but I’m praying it’ll be minimal, along with the burning.  The best part of each evening has been Jett’s excitement over removing the chains for our countdown to being finished.  He keeps me going, that’s for sure!  

 Many of you read my Facebook post about the first day of radiation and how terrified I was, but two of the coolest things happened that day as we took a trip to one of my favorite towns, Clemson, SC.  We ran into a fun store called All Inspired, and let’s just say those ladies were full of inspiration that day, as I am sure they are every day.  One of them casually struck up a conversation with me about my hair and that turned into an hour long story.  They were all so interested in my journey and just truly loved on me.  I’d never met any of them before but left feeling like I had three new best friends.  


My devotional today from a little Lifeway subscription called Journey, talked about friends being life’s most cherished gifts and when the right ones come along,  they help you become all that the Lord created you to be.  And how true is that?  I met these three women and instantly we formed a bond.  The verse “A friend loves at all times.” (Proverbs 17:17) is perfect for this encounter.  And then as I was leaving a dear pastor friend called to check on me.  Let me preface with the fact that he didn’t know that I had had first treatment that day or the feelings that were roaring through my body but he said that the Holy Spirit laid on his heart to call me at that moment.  And let’s just say that I sobbed my eyeballs out after we ended our conversation.  The prayer he prayed through the phone helped me clearly see that God’s not finished with me yet and He’s going to do mighty things in my life.  So inspired,  I was again.
  All inspired.  

Radiation will continue through the end of April.  I saw my precious OBGYN today and as she’s been through the stage I’m in now,  her smile reminded me that I can do this.  Although it may be harder on some days as I walk through those dark valleys, I’ll make it through this part of the journey just as I’ve done before, because His light shines bright. 

Speaking of bright lights, last night we attended the “Strike Out Cancer” baseball game at my alma mater, Hillcrest High School (under the lights).  


Throwing out the first pitch of the game, alongside a new friend, Amanda, that I’ve met along this journey was an honor.  She also has a four year old and is battling this fierce disease, and has been a blessing.   


I’m so thankful for our friendship and that we can check in on one another.  It helps make the fight a little easier when you can talk to someone who knows what it’s like and the feelings you have day to day, especially having a little one.  Speaking of my little one, Jett had a blast seeing the boys on the field, eating his first “big chew” gum, and playing his own ballgame with his daddy behind the stands.  It’s been almost 20 years since I’ve been to a game after high school, and the memories flooded in while sitting in the stands watching the Rams win.  


But the best part of the night was having the sweetest little girl spray paint my hair pink.  You see that little girl lost her mommy a few years ago to breast cancer.  To see her laugh and smile while making my hair look like cotton candy, sealed my heart tight.  Bless that angel and her family as I know her mommy is missed!  






So everyday I think about how I have been so blessed to meet new friends and to find a purpose in this path God has planned for me.  I am so grateful for the experiences and relationships this journey has given me.  God is so good, all the time.  

And speaking of radiation, He radiates His love on us all the time, not just in a big ole machine.  

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; who shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1 



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Boone, Beth Moore, and Best Friends



When my friend Leigh Anne mentioned going to see Beth Moore in March, I’ll be honest...I thought there’d be no way I’d  feel up to that challenge enough to make that trip.  The date was one month after surgery and then getting over the flu and a sinus infection, I just didn’t know how I could muster up the energy to pack and make it.   I prayed about it and within a couple of days from the invite, I told them “I was in”.  My mom was really concerned about my decision , as she just was so worried about my stamina and well being.  But God shined through and the plans started. You see we waited a little too long to find a hotel room and NOTHING was available in Boone and the only room we could find was 40 minutes away.  Unless we wanted a one room cabin with a teeny tiny bathroom off the side of the mountain, that was all to be found.  And that didn’t excite any of us!  So we booked that ”far away” room but then called about a king suite in Boone that was only available for reservations if you made it a three night stay, which we didn’t need.  They told us that they couldn’t break up the three nights to allow us to have it for one, so we just were glad to have our other reservation, even if it was forever away.  And then we tried calling once again about the room in Boone and they kindly  decided to break up the 3 night stay and we got our room in Boone.  Woohoo!   This was just totally a God thing and wonderful news. And what an awesome trip it turned out to be.  That Friday, my friend Jane who lives in Americus made the drive to Greenville to break up her trip a little bit.  I grabbed Carolina Fine Foods to go, she picked me up, and we headed towards Boone.  Once we hit the mountain, our ears popped like crazy,  as we looked out the car window at the steep revene below.  I was like a child taking pictures and literally in awe of the beautiful scenery.  

Once we got to our hotel, it felt like the mountains..freezing cold and snow in the forecast! 

Dinner came next at the most scrumptious restaurant, Cafe Portafino, recommended by a friend.  

And then we were off to worship with Travis Cottrell and hear the wonderful Beth Moore bring the message.  

As we entered into the colesium, every seat was tagged.  At first Jane and I thought “oh no”, as it looked like most seats were reserved or taken.  Our tickets were general admission so how could that be?  But those tags were personal prayer cards for every guest.  Talk about warming my heart!?  We hit the stairs and got four seats, as our friends Leigh Anne and Stacey were in route to meet us for the weekend.  The worship time moved me and brought me to tears many times, singing praises to Him, and then listening to Beth’s message, live and in person, along with almost 9,000 other women.  Right before Beth began speaking, ladies in the crowd began yelling for doctors and nurses to come help in the top row of the arena.  As scary of a time for everyone sitting in the building as it was, Beth hit her knees and we all began praying for that individual and let me just say that the Holy Spirit was felt like no other during that time.  The lady who was prayed for actually walked out on her own,  down multiple flights of stairs, to receive medical attention.  What a God moment that was to begin our night with Him!

So immediately following that, Beth Moore came equipped with the tools and courage to teach His word, straight from Mark 12:30- “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God will all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength:this is the first commandment.”  Her main focus was on our MINDS and how we should love him whole heartedly with our mind.  She shared how the spirit is greater than the mind, the mind is greater than the brain, and eternal is greater than temporal.  So there is truly no limit to the impact of loving God with our whole minds.  I am so thankful that God opened my heart to receive this message and for allowing me the time with these three beautiful, faithful, and encouraging ladies that I call dear friends. Our weekend was wrapped up with a nice lunch, lots of laughs, and some shopping in the cute mountain town.  It truly was a blessing and a time with the Lord that we all needed for different reasons and I am grateful for every second of the time spent!  Prayers still being sent for the precious lady that was ill and that her health be restored. 



So after Sunday’s time change, and jumping back into the week, I sit here now reflecting on just how blessed I am.  Having a husband to keep Jett for the weekend, friends who love Jesus that worshipped with me, and thinking of all of the ways that God has so faithful in my life.  If you ever get the chance to go see Beth Moore, please do.  It will bless your soul and bring you closer to Jesus, I promise.  Make your life extraordinary with Him.  




Tomorrow I begin the first of 33 rounds of radiation.  I’m a little nervous but also know that this is part of the plan to become completely healed.  The radiation lady that I met last week has mutual friends and just set my mind at ease as I laid on the radiation bed during my consult visit.  My MIND will be focused on Him tomorrow as I am completely still, allowing the radiation machine to do its thing.  The countdown will begin and I can’t wait for Jett to help me break a link in the chain each time a treatment is finished.
And each Friday, will be a celebration day ...ice-cream date, a new pair of cute shoes, a short trip somewhere, a good book, a pair of earrings, fresh flowers, etc.  



So here we go!  I’ll keep you all posted along this journey as I know it’ll be difficult on some days, just as chemo and the surgery were.  But knowing that I promise to give God my whole MIND daily for ALL of my days, makes the worries and anxiety less because God gave thought to us all and planned us well. 

“Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since He who promised is faithful.”  
Hebrews 10:23
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Rest vs. resist

I’m learning this slowly but surely!  



After coming home from my parents after ten full days of surgery recovery time, I got a little bee in my bonnet and began venturing out some. Getting the all clear for driving got the ball rolling and I had some mega energy built up that needed to be released. Our outings consisted of follow up doctor visits, yummy lunch dates, with a little shopping added in too.  I mean I was making banana puddings with my little guy and all. 


Y’all know me well enough to know that I can turn a very simple day into a busy one, running here and there until supper time.  And that’s exactly what I did.  I was feeling great, and then found myself completely DONE!  I had lunch with a friend on Tuesday at noon and by 2 pm, I felt like death.  Fever, aches, pains, runny nose...it was the full blown FLU! 


I had myself diagnosed before making the trip to the doctor.  With lots of meds and fluids, I tucked my hiney into the bed and quarantined myself to the house.  I did nothing but eat Cheez-its and egg drop soup, drink Ginger Ale, and watch 2 full seasons over two days of a great Netflix show, The Crown.  So when they say rest is the best medicine to a full recovery, it truly is, and I’ve learned a lesson or two about how to stay home and heal. 

I’d switch from the bed to the couch but end up comfortable enough to read many of my favorite devotional books, checked out some good decorating magazines,  and got caught up on a few of my websites/blogs that I follow. 


One, in particular, that I enjoy reading daily is on Billy Graham’s “Grow Your Faith” website.  This particular devotion was focused on pure rest.  Rest!  Whoa...just what I needed to read about!  The verse, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28, spoke heavy to me during this time of being sick because I was made to do just that...come to Jesus.  



I felt as if I really had rushed myself to being 100 % again, and now I was pushed back and forced to slow down.  So during that “rest” time, many hours were spent in God’s word, trying to stay connected with Him.  Within this particular devotion, they talked about the word “rest” and then the word “resist”.  The only difference is the “i”.  And that “i” is a problem.  So I was resisting rest.  

I was thinking...
I can do one more thing around the house.
I can meet so and so for dinner.  
I can run and grab some groceries.  
I can take Jett to the park.  
I can fold a load of clothes.  
I can organize Jett’s winter and spring clothes. 
I can decorate for spring.
I can run to that store and look for an outfit.  

What was I thinking???  I mean I just had major surgery and yes I was doing good... but who was I to think I could do all of these things!  What was I thinking?  Who am I?  That very song by Casting Crowns came to mind.  



So as I listen carefully to those words, He speaks to me.  He tells me that I am His and that He will catch me when I’m falling.  Yes, Lord. I fell and You caught me and I am yours! 

So as I laid in the bed one afternoon I was brought to tears thinking of how good God’s been to me over this cancer journey.  He caught me last week as I was falling, but man how He carried me, literally putting a blanket of protection over me for 16 weeks of treatment (while teaching little people) to keep me well.  Each week as I’d walk into infusion, my numbers would be right on target to continue chemo.  He prepared my body and kept me well before surgery.  And then the actual surgery was a success because of His hands guiding the doctors.  And then if you could see the scars and how they’ve healed.  I’m giving Him all the praise.  His plan is perfect, and right, and holy.  

And as I got to the top of the mountain, feeling healed and wonderful, as I had just finished another leg of the race and was about to begin the downhill slide into the final steps,  I hit a bump.  A bump that only He could create, to slow me down. It cautioned me to rest, and helped my focus to remain on Him.  That bump hurt a little, but made this girl know that He is ultimately in control and to listen to Him carefully!

So the flu turned into a sinus infection.  And I’ve been back to the doctor for round #2 of meds and I truly am starting to feel somewhat normal.   We’ve been home a lot lately and  last night was a super sad evening as we lost our horse that J has loved and roped off of for years.  “Cook Cook” truly were some of Jett’s first words, following Mama and Dada, and that boy adored that horse. 



 “Cook” was the most gentle, sweet spirited horse that you’d ever find.  I’ll never forget two of our nieces riding him  without a fear in the world.  





He’d been to many ropings and rodeos, and everyone knew the “greatness” of Cookie.  He will be so missed.  As J told Jett that he had died and was in Heaven, Jett made it very clear that he didn’t want anyone to ride his horse until he went to “Heaben” one day.  Many more horses will come into Jett’s life I’m sure as his cowboy adventures are just beginning, but that horse made a lasting impression on our sweet boy.  Our hearts are so heavy.  




He’s buried under his favorite tree.  He greeted me here almost daily,  either first thing in the morning or when I came home
from school.   When he made his entrance to Heaven last night,  I know many wonderful horsemen that have already walked through the pearly gates welcomed him with open arms.  I can just see our Uncle Andy, the one who introduced J to the ultimate horse world, greeting Cookie and showing him the wonders up above.  Roam free, pretty boy!  

So as J was taking care of Cookie’s final resting place, my mom and I went to my radiation consult appointment today.  The nurses and doctors on this leg of the recovery plan were just as precious as they have all been. 



 I was a little nervous leaving the Mauldin Cancer Center and venturing to The Gibbs Cancer Center off Pelham,  but it’s super nice and I know it’s going to be a great experience.  The center in Mauldin is super busy right now so that’s the reason for that change!   The nurse who did my vitals told me that she was a 19 year breast cancer survivor and like me, choose to do no reconstruction immediately after her bilateral mastectomy.  She just now has started to reconstruct and that just reaffirmed the decision I made.  If I ever change my mind, reconstruction is still an option.  Speaking of my decision for no reconstruction at this time, I have to give props to Casey at For Every Woman.  She was awesome guiding me through the prosthetic process and helping me find the right “ones” for me!  



Back to today, I then met the radiation oncologist who was so calm, walking me through what the 33 treatments would like like.  She explained that radiation is done to kill any remaining cancer cells around the site of the mastectomy.  Before leaving she even said that if I ever needed to bring Jett with me, the nurses there loved children and would be more than happy to watch him while I received my treatment.  I mean how comforting is that to know?!  Thankfully he’ll be well taken care of at daycare but the fact that she offered, was just so kind.  So I go back tomorrrow to have the second round of my consult done, marking the specific site of radiation and scheduling those 33 rounds.  I’m hoping that it’ll be first thing each morning.  She said the actual process will take less than 10 minutes.  Wow!  So guess what I plan on doing during that 10 minutes?   Pray and rest! And rest some more when I get home each day.   Pinky promise!  

“Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10













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